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About Eklinaar

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  1. My closest friend is very allo (and cis and mono, and I'm trans and poly), but she tries hard to understand my experiences. Today I tried to come up with an analogy to explain to her why alloromantic behavior is so confusing. So, this is what I came up with. I'm curious if anyone thinks this makes sense or has a suggestion for a better analogy. Note that this analogy is targeted at alloromantics, which is why it references dating and marriage and intimacy. Imagine that everyone you've ever met is obsessed with mustard pickles (it doesn't have to be this, I just said the first mundane thing I could think of that was utterly repulsive to me). I don't even mean mustard pickles made with quality ingredients, either, I mean cheap gas station pickles slathered in that iridescent yellow slimy "mustard" paste that's so common in Murica. Everyone you know just can't get enough of them. They're obsessed with them. They want to eat them every day, they talk about them all the time. Your daily life is inundated with mustard pickle-related media and social situations. Here's a list of what you encounter on a daily basis. People are always sharing mustard pickles with each other. It's considered the greatest display of affection. People go to restaurants and feed each other mustard pickles. People think you're weird for not wanting to participate in this behavior and openly mock you about it. Most of your friends are always telling you where you can get good mustard pickles, even though they know you don't like them. They concoct circumstances that will put you in contact with people who will offer to share mustard pickles. Your friends always want to tell you that mustard pickles are so great, and how the most important thing in their life is finding someone to share their favorite variety of mustard pickles with, and you don't know how to tell them that doesn't make any sense to you. Some people think it's cute, or innocent, or shameful, or just weird that you have barely tried mustard pickles and don't want to eat them again. People are convinced you're sad because you don't like mustard pickles. Every TV show and movie features at least one scene of people gratuitously eating mustard pickles with each other and acting like it's the best thing that's ever happened to them. People watching go "ooh" and "aah" over these scenes, and rant about how touching or exciting or sensual those scenes are, and reaffirm how much they love mustard pickles. 90% of pop songs are about eating mustard pickles with people, or trying to get their favorite mustard pickles, or about how bad it feels when someone won't share their mustard pickles any more, or being mad at someone because they give their mustard pickles to someone else now. Young people's Facebook pages and Instagram accounts are mostly pictures of them eating mustard pickles. There are night clubs and websites devoted to hooking up with people to eat mustard pickles together. People spend a lot of money on clothes and beauty products to wear to these clubs. It's considered normal for people to plan their entire lives around a relationship with someone who likes the same kind of mustard pickles as them. People have lavish, expensive, fancy mustard pickle-themed weddings, and you think it's gaudy and overdone. There's an entire holiday devoted to mustard pickles where people give each other mustard pickle-themed gifts and greeting cards. It's practically expected that you spend a lot of money getting an adequate gift for your partner on Saint Cucumber's Day. When someone offers you mustard pickles, they are personally insulted when you say you don't like mustard pickles, even if you make it clear that you like them as a person. Some people feel like their identity is threatened that anyone would dare say it's possible to not like mustard pickles. These people tell you that you're just going through a phase, that you'll change your mind, or that if you'd like mustard pickles if you'd try harder to eat more of them. Some people are convinced that your dislike of mustard pickles means you have a serious mental disorder. There are psychologists who offer services to train you to like mustard pickles, claiming that you will better assimilate into society and be happier if you overcome your aversion. Pop-psych websites have articles claiming that evolution (though they badly misunderstand what evolution actually means) causes all humans to have a strong drive to eat mustard pickles. People tell elaborate stories about how the desire to share mustard pickles is the most powerful driving force in history, and is shared across all cultures. If you point out to them that there are plenty of cultures in history that haven't had the singular obsession with mustard pickles that our society does, they go to great lengths to deny that claim. People you've dated have broken up with you because you don't like mustard pickles. A couple of them dramatically berated you over how your dislike of mustard pickles ruined your relationship, and how they can't really love someone who won't share mustard pickles. Or even worse, they don't believe that you can really love them since you don't like mustard pickles. None of this makes any sense to you. You don't understand why mustard pickles are so critical to other things that don't seem relevant at all, like intimacy, health, and emotional satisfaction. You're ostracized because you don't "get it". You just want to have an intimate relationship that doesn't prominently feature talking about, eating, and pining over mustard pickles, but everyone you meet eventually hits an emotional wall and refuses to be any closer with you because you don't have a relationship that involves eating mustard pickles together. A complex system of social rules governs these behaviors, and a lot of people think it's highly rude or offensive that you would even consider asking for certain kinds of intimacy if you aren't willing to eat mustard pickles with them. People who used to hug you or hang out with you a lot suddenly do it a lot less once they find someone to hang out with who likes the same kind of mustard pickles that they do. As you get older, all your friends pair off with their favorite mustard pickle buddies and stop spending time with you, and you become lonely. People misinterpret your loneliness and frustration as jealousy over their mustard pickle buddy relationships, or attribute it to that fake pathology that supposedly causes a dislike of mustard pickles. There's nothing wrong with mustard pickles. You just think they taste really bad, but your whole society is obsessed with them, and that obsession is making life really hard for you. If only society had room for people who don't like mustard pickles, life would be a lot less frustrating and more satisfying for you.
  2. Has anyone tried meeting cuddle buddies online? There are a few ways to do this. There's https://www.cuddlecomfort.com, which is like a dating site but specifically for cuddles. I've never used it and don't know anyone who has. There are also a couple subreddits for this purpose, but I have little faith in Reddit, and nobody in my area uses those subreddits anyway. A few years ago, I tried to do it on OKCupid, but people are (understandably) skeptical of older men on dating sites who say they don't want sex, so I never got any interest.
  3. You should see what mutually attracted humans do to each other at heavy metal shows.
  4. Aromantic Confessions

    I confess that I resent the people who used to be my close friends who got married and had babies and quit hanging out with me. And I resent even more that they think there's nothing wrong with that.
  5. Sex with feelings #NoRomo

    I mean... that was 8 years ago, and hardly anybody's touched me since then... but yeah I admit it was pretty great at the time. Sometimes I wish I didn't crave that kind of closeness, though, because the loneliness sucks.
  6. Favorite Podcasts?

    I really like Priority One Podcast, because I'm a big Star Trek nerd. It's a news podcast about anything Star Trek related, with a focus on conventions and Star Trek video games. They even have a scientist at JPL come on regularly and talk about the science of Star Trek or recent astronomy news. I really should listen to Women At Warp, a podcast about the representation and participation of women in Star Trek, which the Priority One hosts strongly recommend. While not strictly a podcast, I'm a huge fan of everything the Auralnauts do. They do a lot of movie parody stuff, mostly involving really clever video edits and replacing the audio with their own professional-quality audio. They are the funniest people I've encountered on the internet. They also do a podcast, largely about their video work, but sometimes totally unrelated. Their most recent episode was a review of Mortal Kombat: The Album from 1994, just because they wanted to review a 23 year old not-very-good album instead of talk about their video work. The Worst Idea Of All Time is a strange podcast by two Kiwi comedians of questionable judgment who force themselves to watch the same horrible movie once a week for a year and do a podcast about how they slowly lose their grip on reality. The first year, they did Adam Sandler's Grownups 2, and the second year they did Sex and the City 2, and this year they're doing We Are Your Friends. The podcast is like a psychological horror. It's disturbing and hilarious. Acquisitions Incorporated started out as a podcast and has changed formats significantly, focusing on webcasts and live appearances these days. Initially, it was the creators of the webcomics Penny Arcade and PVP playing Dungeons And Dragons with a Dungeon Master from Wizards of the Coast. The people involved have changed, but it's still entirely about very funny people playing Dungeons and Dragons. Their latest series, The C-Team, is hilarious and I often have to stop watching because I'm laughing too hard. Critical Role is an unrelated D&D webseries, but it's much more dramatic and serious and harder to understand unless you're an enthusiastic D&D player, yourself. They're both good but I recommend Acq Inc if you were only going to pick one. And, of course, Welcome To Night Vale is amazing and strange, but I'll leave it to other people gush about that. No spoilers, please, since I'm over a year behind.
  7. Sex with feelings #NoRomo

    Sex for me has always been an emotionally intense experience. I almost envy people who can have sex more casually, because it sounds like a lot of fun. An allo friend recently described to me the desire for sex as "an itch that needs to be scratched" and I don't think I've ever experienced it like that. If I'm with a partner for a long time, I can get more comfortable with them and sex can be less emotionally charged for me and can become playful and fun, but there's always that foundation of trust and emotional intimacy. I can only speculate about why sex is like this for me, but I think it's because empathy is the main tool I use to build intimate relationships. Emotional connection is what I want most out of friendships and intimate relationships. This is probably why I've been able to have the occasional functional romantic relationship, because my desire for deep emotional connection is sometimes compatible with some alloromantic people's desire for a committed partner. What I want out of sex most of the time is more empathy, deep and intense empathy. I also experience lust and sexual attraction, but those aren't the prime drivers for me, they're more like extra spice added to the meal of empathy. I'm a very touch-oriented person, so I like to use touch as a kind of emotional expression. I'm also a communication nerd, and some people are very expressive in unique ways during sex, so it's very satisfying for me to participate in that, especially when combined with all the other ways that sex is enjoyable. So, the best sex I've experienced is like a combination of really tender cuddling, a very stimulating conversation, an immediate experience of feeling loved and appreciated, the satisfaction of desire, and tactile pleasure. Since my experience of being on the aromantic spectrum manifests partly as a lack of differentiation between the love for close friends and the love for intimate partners, then the kinds of trust and emotional intimacy I build in those relationships are effectively the same for me. I end up feeling comfortable with close friends in nearly identical ways to how I end up feeling comfortable with intimate partners, and so I feel like the same boundaries would work for me, as well as the same expressions of affection. But they don't work for most alloromantics, which is something I have to remind myself of frequently. I usually navigate this problem by relying on explicit and clear verbal consent. As for what can improve the experience of sex, I think that's a highly individual thing. One of my partners and I liked to talk a lot during sex, and we found that affirmations really enhanced the experience. Like, we'd be doing something sexual and simultaneously just saying things we liked about each other. Sometimes they were related to the sexual experience and sometimes they weren't. That had a noticeable change in sex for me as an experience of mutual appreciation and shared empathy. Finding things like that can take time and exploration.
  8. Romantic poetry, to like or not to like.

    My best friend wrote this today. She said the first scene is about how she feels with me. I'm pretty sure the third scene is about her husband. I don't know what the second scene is about. http://graffitioftheheart.blogspot.com/2017/08/blog-post.html
  9. I'm in the US and broke, myself. It's a shame we're on three different continents. But I'd love to meet up with some aros once I can afford it.
  10. I've spent a good bit of time in a variety of LGBTQ communities both online and IRL and this community has shown some of the greatest intersectional awareness I've encountered so far. I'm seriously impressed. It seems like a good place to make friends.
  11. Could I make myself more sexual?

    Yes! I don't want to derail this thread since it's not about this, but I'd be happy to discuss this with you in more detail. This is my greatest struggle in sexual relationships, that it is a very emotional and intimate experience for me, but it is not romantic for me. Everyone I meet seems to want both emotional intimacy and romance, or neither. And that's why I haven't had a sexual relationship in years.
  12. I don't know any ace/aro people where I live, and I'm not active on AVEN. I didn't find nearly as much that I personally could relate to on those boards as I do here. Making ace/aro friends is pretty much why I'm here.
  13. Yeah, I have the opposite problem. I think a lot of people feel threatened by me because they usually read me as a cishet male, and I understand why they feel that way. My friends who used to cuddle with me are all very monogamous, and the culture here is very against platonic touch. It's pretty frustrating. I'm glad you have friends who understand your feelings in this regard.
  14. Could I make myself more sexual?

    I'm fairly allosexual so I don't know if my experience is applicable, but I find that being with someone I trust and care for deeply makes me a whole lot more comfortable in a sexual situation. Sometimes I'm even able to experience things I can't when that trust and care isn't present. Sex is also a very emotional exchange for me, and I know for a lot of people it isn't, so that might also have something to do with it.
  15. Romantic poetry, to like or not to like.

    Rumi's poetry I think was intended to be romantic but I find it staggeringly beautiful. I also find Emily Dickinson very relatable.